Downtown-based marketing firm GS&F has added to its roster a director of public relations as well as five other employees. Marieke Bianchi has joined the firm as PR director with 10 years of experience. She most recently was at Hunter Public Relations in New York City, where she worked on accounts like Barefoot Wines and Kraft Foods. At GS&F, she will manage the PR efforts for Hunt Brothers Pizza and Tractor Supply, among others.
Also joining GS&F's PR team is account coordinator Margaret Kercher. She will support the Tractor Supply, Applebee’s, Universal Lighting Technologies and Argent Financial accounts. The firm also has added traffic coordinators Meredith Clapp, Thomas Bynum, Ginny Hoskins and Katherine LaViscount to its team.
“As we’re nearing the end of the calendar year, we want to make sure the agency is primed and ready for a strong start in 2015,” said Jeff Lipscomb, CEO and co-owner of GS&F. “The new talent we’ve brought on is helping us reach that goal as well as reflecting our continued expansion both professionally, developmentally and culturally.”
The local campus of Kaplan College has partnered with the National Institute for Social Media to offer local marketers — and their bosses — a social media strategist certification course. Kelley Boothe at Southern/alpha has more info on the 30-hour program, which will kick off here in January.
Local promotional products company Branding U has been acquired by American Solutions for Business, an ad specialty products company that last year rang up more than $100 million in sales. Officials say Russ Moore, president and CEO of seven-year-old Branding U, will join ASB as director of strategic growth. Branding U brings about 75 clients to the table. ASB, which is owned by its employees has 37,000 customers.
The leaders of Nissan's Infiniti luxury division have chosen a new advertising agency of record for the first time since the late 1990s. The automaker now will work with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, dropping TBWA. The company, which spends about $450 million globally each year, had this summer narrowed its list of agencies down to four.
Three-year-old web marketing venture Populr.me is attracting some interest from potential buyers even though it has a long way to go to fulfill its promise, says founder Nick Holland, who also runs development agency Centresource. Holland tells Milt Capps he'll have to consider a good offer for Populr, but it would take a silly amount of money to get him to uproot his family and relocate with the company should its next owners want to do that.
"I want to win with Populr," whether that's by having a Nashville Tech company realize an "awesome" exit, or by grinding-out a national footprint from Music City, he summarized.
Either way, "plenty of work still needs to be done," he continued, adding that when unsolicited outside interest appears, its inevitably the occasion for reflecting on what is the best path toward success. "The proof is in the pudding," he said.
The email marketing stalwarts at Emma have added Michael Downs to their roster as director of sales. Downs, who comes to Emma from IBM subsidiary Silverpop, will handle a range of in-market and greenfield sales initiatives.
“Larger companies are realizing that Emma can help their marketing teams do more with a streamlined set of creative and contact management tools, plus insights that make it easy to know what’s working with their audience, and what to do next,” said Clint Smith, Emma’s CEO and co-founder. “Michael has seen both sides of that story, and we're excited to have him share that expertise with our in-house team as well as our future customers."
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